[TOTALLY DRAMATIC opening statement about my political and ethical views (LOTS) and technical political knowledge (very little)]
Santorum is getting an epic amount of crap lately. From liberals to conservatives to libertarians (<- like Meredith. Read her Santorum post. It’s perfect.), to people who just want to laugh at the Urban Dictionary definition of his last name (look it up if you want to – I’m not linking it because it is ABSOLUTELY NSFW)…the guy can’t escape it.
I’ve been trying to pay much more attention to this election than any election in the past. Partly because, hey, I can vote now (second presidential election in my life where that has been the case), but mostly because in recent months, I’ve learned that I really, surprisingly do care about politics, and there’s definitely an activist inside me trying to escape into the light of day. Something high school Kristen would have absolutely hated about twenty-one-year-old Kristen, but high school Kristen can go suck an egg.
Anyway, yes, paying attention more, digressing less. No, actually, more digression, but maybe it’ll make a dry subject more interesting.
I follow a lot about Ron Paul (the candidate of choice for most people I know), and I know some basics about Gingrich (who I equate to a slug in my mind…for the slimy reasons, not the slow-moving ones), Romney (way-right-wing, and Mormon, right?), and Santorum (extremely unfortunate last name, way-right-wing, OMGHOLYCATHOLOCISM ideals).
My thoughts on Santorum are in the comments on Meredith’s post (linked above), but I’ll sort of re-state them for the point I’ll eventually make here:
You would probably be surprised how much I am in favor of “traditional” roles of women in relation to men…to an extent. I would like to think that in most career situations, I’m absolutely not sexist. I see an attorney first, a woman second. A barista first, a man second. A CEO first, a woman second. And so on, and so forth. Of course, that’s not always the case (I’m in the nursing field…seeing male RNs on a daily basis is still going to take some getting used to), but I try not to let a person’s sex influence what job I believe they should have.
Santorum’s view on women in the military seems pretty degrading, I’ll admit. He implies that our emotions get too involved on the front lines of combat, and that men would, in many cases, compromise the given objective to defend their sisters in arms (is that politically correct? Whatever, I don’t really care.), AND that we are, by and large, not as physically capable as men in front line combat situations.
I’m all for equality in the workplace, but I’m going to break this down and be totally honest and vulnerable and crap with you guys. Because what better place than on the World Wide Web, where literally ANYONE ON PLANET EARTH with a computer can see it?
I would not last in combat. I AM weaker than the men who are fighting in Afghanistan right now. Of course, I am also weaker than the women who are fighting there.
My emotions WOULD get in the way of the mission. If one of my comrades made fun of the way I tied my boots that morning, and I happened to be PMS-ing, and we were in stealth mode, trying to sneak up on some insurgents (I know, my military lingo is totally on point), I would probably start crying. Loudly. I would yell, “Well you know what, HARRISON!? Your head is shaved totally lopsided, and your breath has been killing me for MILES, and your girlfriend back home is UGLY and I’m sick of seeing pictures of her!”
I would give away our location. We would all die. And the giving away of our position would have something to do with it, but mostly, it would be because they just wanted me to shut up (my voice has a tendency to get obnoxiously high-pitched when I’m upset).
Also, I’m weak. I am five-foot-two, and I’m barely over one hundred pounds. I am nothing to be feared.
Also, I’m a huge baby, and if my boots gave me a blister, I’d ask to be choppered right the heck on out of there. I’d probably sit and pout and whine until it happened.
Switching gears a smidge now.
Andy and I have been watching (and when I say Andy and I, I mean that Andy sits on the couch and watches eight episodes at a time, while I chase Logan around and yell at him to stop chasing our new cat around [yes, I got a cat, details later] and pay very little attention to what is happening in the show) this show on the Discovery channel called The Colony. Here’s Wikipedia’s synopsis of the show:
The Colony is a reality television series that is produced by the Discovery Channel. The program follows a group of people who might survive in a post-apocalyptic environment.
Casting was done by Metal Flowers. For the first season they found 10 volunteers who had useful survival skills, as well as almost 100 actors to do scripted and improvisational work for the show.
I didn’t think I’d like it at first, but now I’m totally sucked into this world of voyeuristic, simulated-post-apocalyptic entertainment. Watch seasons 1 and 2. They’re awesome.
In season two, a new character gets introduced around the forty-day mark. He’s a HIGHLY trained former Marine sniper, who then went on to do high-profile security in the Middle East (didn’t catch where, sorry), and basically his resume will blow your mind. This guy is a bona fide bad ass.
At one point in the episode I’m watching, the colonists are preparing for a confrontation with a group of “outsiders” they’ve recently spotted. Tick (the Marine) takes the lead on the situation, designating which colonist gets stationed where (in terms of compound security), according to his or her specific skill set or strengths.
This is where my two seemingly unrelated trains of thought crash violently.
Santorum states women are physically weaker than men in combat. That our emotions get in the way. That men have a primal instinct to protect us. And I’ll admit, I like feeling rough and tough and bad ass sometimes…but at the end of the day, I want my husband to fight for me and protect me, AND I want to be allowed my emotions.
I can see where that rubs some people the wrong way. Especially the way he said it. He says a LOT of things that are belittling to women.
PLEASE KNOW that I would never vote for Santorum. I do not like him, Sam I am. I even said that if it came down to anyone BUT Ron Paul vs. Obama, I’ll vote for Obama. Period.
This is what a MARINE said, after he chose to put one man and one woman at the same “post” together on The Colony:
For negotiators, we’re going to have Reno and Sian.
Reno is a young, totally ripped construction foreman. Sian is a teacher. And a woman. Aside, in a private interview with the camera guys, Tick says:
I want Reno to feel like he’s the most important person on the ground. He can handle all the talking and the negotiation with Sian. We need a woman on the negotiation team to de-escalate situations, soon. It makes everything a little softer. It’ll keep Reno kind of at bay. If you keep a woman next to him, he’s going to be more defensive, and stay back.
This is from a Marine sniper, guys. He understands that this is the primal instinct of men: to be protective over women.
I’m not saying it’s not TOTALLY different in combat situations. Obviously, I have NO IDEA what that’s like. I’m not saying Santorum was right, or that he wasn’t totally tactless or demeaning (because he TOTALLY was, and it was gross). I’m not saying I agree with anything else he supports (although there may be some issues I’m on his side for, but very few, and very conditionally).
I agree with the Marine. I completely agree with the Marine. Not Santorum. The Marine. But their points definitely collide.
So…let’s all calm down a little, shall we? He may not be the person we want running our country (I sure as hell don’t want him running it), but he’s not Satan.